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Old 01-08-2004, 05:05 AM   #26
Misogi-no-Gyo
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Quote:
Jeff Tibbetts wrote:
Shaun, sorry about the lag, I just now remembered this thread...

It would be a very odd thing, indeed, if, after about six months in America, he decided to try to teach the Americans around him about how they should return to their true essence that he has come to exemplify. So, do I think it's possible to know someone better than they know themselves? Maybe. But absolutely not in six months. Period.

I hope that clears things up a bit.
Jeff,

Thanks for the reply. I only asked because I have observed instances when this has happened, but I would admit the case be rare. I think that in the case of the Tom Cruise character, Hollywood is betting that his background of being a "war hero/lost soul" makes him ripe for just this sort of epiphany and subsequent transformation. In the cases I observed that was most certainly the case. With refards to the movie, I could let that pass; however the other serious shortcomings deny the overall effectiveness of what they were trying to pull off. If you are asking yourself what I mean, I will say this... four out of five people I asked got the following question wrong.

In the movie The Last Samurai, Who was the last samurai?

I no longer participate in or read the discussion forums here on AikiWeb due to the unfair and uneven treatment of people by the owner/administrator.
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Old 01-08-2004, 10:23 AM   #27
John Boswell
 
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Yes... the ending did seem to get dragged on a little bit, but it wasn't too bad. It IS concivable that Tom's character could have lived through that battle, but not likely. Oh well.

The scene with the Emperor, I felt, was rather profound. Not only did Tom verbally offer up his own life over the whole ordeal, but his actions... he presented Katsumoto's sword to the Emperor in such a manner that it was ready to be drawn from the scabbard and take Tom's life in an instant. I felt that was a very humbling gesture on his part.

One thing that will be overlooked by almost everyone is the scene where Tom had been captured and was alone in the room... sick as a dog! He was going through DT's!! Delirium Termens!! Having known many alcoholics in my life,(not me, thank God) I have seen people go through alcohol withdrawls. It is NEVER a pretty sight and can often be fatal. Tom Cruise' performance of this was incredible! If I didn't know better, I would have said he had gone on a three week drinking binge and then literally went through DT's on film. He was that good. It was that scene where I was no longer watching a film but instead as drawn in and was watching the life of a man hang in the balance... only to awake in a world that was completely foreign and perfect in his eyes. Whether or not that was actually the case, he saw it that way and that was very interesting to me.

Many American's will get wrong the question: Who was the "last Samurai" but that is only due to ignorance of Japanese culture and of martial arts. I don't fault them, I pity them. They're missing out on the best part of the story! LOL

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Old 01-11-2004, 07:25 PM   #28
indomaresa
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that katsumoto guy is coooooolllll

tom cruise should've bowed to katsumoto as well at the end.

The road is long...
The path is steep...
So hire a guide to show you the shortcuts
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Old 01-13-2004, 07:17 AM   #29
Thalib
 
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It would've been more dramatic if Algren actually cuts off Katsumoto's head in the end, right after Katsumoto said, "A perfect blossom."

Algren was shot up pretty bad anyway, he could barely help Katsumoto's seppuku.

Movie was good. I wasn't thinking much of the inaccuracies. I could list many, but it's not important for me. It's a movie, it's a fiction, just sit down and enjoy the popcorn.

I like the idealism of budo/bushido in this film.

When I have to die by the sword, I will do so with honor.
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Old 01-15-2004, 12:17 PM   #30
indomaresa
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Good thing tom cruise didn't get himself caught by ninjas and brought to a ninja village, to meet with the ninja leader and spend a year studying how to throw shurikens properly.

Otherwise it'll be "The last Ninja"

The road is long...
The path is steep...
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Old 01-20-2004, 02:10 PM   #31
Amassus
 
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I finally saw the movie last night.

I was surprised to find how slow the movie was. I thought it was just another action movie. It had more depth to it than I at first thought.

The bokken scenes were great, as too was the theme of bushido throughout the movie.

All in all, not as bad a movie as I thought it could be.

I can't help but think that had some no-name actor played the main actor instead of Tom Cruise, people would be raving about it.

What have people got against Tom?

"flows like water, reflects like a mirror, and responds like an echo." Chaung-tse
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Old 01-20-2004, 02:34 PM   #32
paw
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Quote:
What have people got against Tom?
Nothing.

In this movie in particular, he delivered the worst performance, IMO. He is capable of fine work, and past films have shown that. He also, to his credit, makes good movie choices. On the whole, I find him tremendously over-rated as an actor.

Regards,

Paul
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Old 01-20-2004, 06:51 PM   #33
PeterR
 
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I thought it was a great movie.

The historian in me cringed but I understood the changes and settled back concentrating on it, my popcorn and forgetting the cost of admission.

It was serving French soldiers who trained the New Army, it would have been the Prussians but not enough potential officers spoke German. The Americans weren't even in the running - especially drunk ex-captains.

Both opposing groups used regimental formations and modern weapons. The imperial army basically won because of numbers. One of the leaders of the rebellion was in fact responsible for the founding of the Imperial Army. The Satsuma forces did have a number of samurai armed in the traditional way but the concept of refusing to have guns was a serious stretch. The last desparate charge of sword weilding samurai is a product of Japanese legend so Hollywood could be forgiven and it does make a great movie scene.

I though Tom Cruise did a pretty good job - he impressed me. Hearing some of the reviews had me expecting far worse - something like Sylvester Stallone at the End of First Blood II.

Fantastic filming - I really like the scene when the half trained imperial army was just about to be attacked the first time.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 01-21-2004, 02:04 PM   #34
Don_Modesto
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Nice summary, Peter. Thanks. A question follows.
Quote:
Peter Rehse (PeterR) wrote:
The historian in me cringed but....

The last desparate charge of sword weilding samurai is a product of Japanese legend...
Are you sure? I was under the impression that this battle was fought as a pitched effort, indeed, sword against artillery/rifles. Previous battles, the ones you mention where Saigo's forces used guns, had used up all of Satusma's ammo and my understanding is that Saigo went into this last effort resigned that it would be SEPPUKU.

Thanks.

Don J. Modesto
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Old 01-21-2004, 05:16 PM   #35
PeterR
 
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Hi Don;

I'm never sure. Fact and fiction are intertwinned.

My understanding is that Saigo committed suicide after being shot in the pelvis. There was a last desparate rush and qute possible at that point there was little or no ammo left but I don't think that was the case when the battle was joined. I'm going from memory here - I'm not even sure what my sources are.

I still think it made a great movie.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 01-21-2004, 08:08 PM   #36
PeterR
 
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Saigo was interesting in many ways. His plan, the reason given for which he was pushed out of the government, was to send an envoy to Korea, insult them to the point where they killed the envoy, and then declare war. When the question was raised as to where they could find such a man - Saigo himself volunteered.

Did he have a death wish? His colleagues thought him dangerous if not mad. One has to remember that the reason the Tokugawa shogunate fell was the perceived weakness with respect to the foreigners - invading Korea at that time would have been madness. Quite frankly the perceptions were quite close to reality and that sort of move would have resulted in much more foreign intervention than acutally occured.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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